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Closing Gala (Photo: Agné Gargasaité)

(By A. G. Magaldí | Aida Sánchez | Photo Gala: Agné Gargasaité)

IN THE PALACE Sofia International Short Film Festival has come to an end. After six hectic days of film screenings, workshops and lectures the National Palace of Culture in Sofia held the Closing Ceremony of the festival.

The gala was hosted by four of the eighty volunteers who helped to organise the festival, Maia Belzunegui, Piroska Mészáros, Daria Budău and Annija Vetra. “You all have been extremely helpful and we would like to thank you for being an active part of it” said Budău. “I will like to thank all the friends who are here, all the volunteers who worked for the festival, we did it together despite all the situations who had to live” said the director of the Festival Tsankso Vasilev.

In front of an audience of about 200 people, the jury gave the awards to the rewarded short films with a fun answer game prepared by the volunteers. Besides the prizes to the films participating in the Festival, the gala was the time to unveil the winners of the 48 Hours Sofia Short Film Challenge and of the pitching sessions held during the festival. THIS ARE THE WINNERS




- Solo Rex
Belgium , 2014, 22'42''
Director: François Bierry
Solo Rex



- The Beast (And admirable and ambtious auteur film, distinguished with exceptional directing and acting)

Croatia, 2015, 20'27''
Director: Daina Oniunas-Pusic
The Beast



- Patarei Prison

Estonia, 2015, 3'
Director: Ricard Carbonell
Patarei Prison



- Daewit 

Germany, 2014, 15'
Director: David Jansen



- Invisible

Poland, 2014  22''

Director: Zofia Pregowska 





- Parking

Bulgaria, 2014, 18'56''
Director: Ivaylo Minov




- Grumpy Does Repairs ("The liveliness of the animated sewing and its delicate technical details involve the spectator capability in a magical world”)

Bulgaria , 2015, 8'30''
Director: Radostina Neykova & Sofiya Ilieva



- Auf Wiedersehen (Goodbye) (The very well developed script involves strongly in the point of view of the protagonist so that the surprising end gives a certain spice to the metaphor of degradation.

Bulgaria, 2015  16'01''

Director: Eddy Schwartz, Yordan Petkov  

Good Bye






The Hunter's Brothers (fiction)

Romania, 16'01''

Director: Alex Mironescu  

The Hunter's Brother


First Book of The Aeronaut (fiction)

Bulgaria, 20'

Director: Boris Nokolov | Producer: Alexander Partulov

First Book of The Aeronaut

IN THE PALACE Sofia International Short Film Festival has come to an end. After six hectic days of film screenings, workshops and lectures the National Palace of Culture in Sofia held the Closing Ceremony of the festival.

The ceremony was hosted by the four of the eighty volunteers who helped to organise the festival, Maia Belzunegui, Piroska Mészáros, Daria Budău and Annija Vetra.  “You all have been extremely helpful and we would like to thank you for being an active part of it” said Budău.
“I will like to thank all the friends who are here, all the volunteers who worked for the festival, we did it together despite all the situations who had to live” said the director of the Festival Tsankso Vasilev.
In front of an audience of about 200 people, the jury gave the awards to the rewarded short films with a fun answer game prepared by the volunteers. Besides the prizes to the films participating in the Festival, the gala was the time to unveil the winners of the 48 Hours Sofia Short Film Challenge and of the pitching sessions held during the festival.


- Cipriana

France / Mexico , 2014, 21'30''
Director: Maruani Landa
- The Beast
Croatia , 2015, 20'27''
Director: Daina Oniunas-Pusic
The Beast
- Solo Rex
Belgium , 2014, 22'42''
Director: François Bierry
Solo Rex


- Patarei Prison

Estonia , 2015, 3'
Director: Ricard Carbonell
Patarei Prison

- Turning

Ireland , 2014, 6'
Director: Eoin heaney



- Daewit 

Germany , 2014, 15'
Director: David Jansen


- Beach Flags

France , 2014, 13'39''
Director: Sarah Saidan
Beach Flags

- Teeth

Hungary / United Kingdom / United States , 2014, 6'10''
Director: Daniel Gray & Tom Brown



- Invisible

Poland, 2014  22''

Director: Zofia Pregowska 


- Giovanni and The Water Ballet

Netherlands , 2014, 17'09''
Director: Astrid Bussink



- North East Hard West


Netherlands , 2014, 24'02''
Director: Bart van den Aardweg


North East Hard West





- Auf Wiedersehen (Goodbye)

Bulgaria, 2015  16'01''

Director: Eddy Schwartz, Yordan Petkov  

Good Bye


- Bandit and The Ram

Bulgaria | United Kingdom , 2014, 24'40''

Director: Alberto Iordanov


Bandit and The Ram


- Parking


Bulgaria , 2014, 18'56''
Director: Ivaylo Minov



Q&A 12th

(Aida Sánchez | Photos by Agnė Gargasaitė & Enrico Tasselli)

Meet the filmmaker! International and Bulgarian directors met this afternoon at another Questions and Answers session at IN THE PALACE Sofia International Short Film Festival. Four directors and some film representatives answered the audience and the moderator’s questions.

“When you want to say something in a film you have to look for symbols” revealed Julia Poplawska, director of The Place. Her symbol was also a symbol in her country, Poland, a weather observatory in one of the most touristic ski resorts. “I was in the place in a moment when I was looking for a symbol”.

“In general I see all the observatories as a very romantic places, you look at the stars, at the weather. You feel so small…” explained the director about the observatory, which never stopped checking hourly and manually the weather since 1938.

Only with a short dialogue, the short film talks for itself. “The main character of the film is the place. I’m not focusing in the people but in the place” said Poplawska. For the director the absence of dialogue was really important “I want the audience to feel they are there, feel the loneliness, like they are looking at the weather”.

Besides the place, the weather also plays a main role “I think weather is the most important thing that surrounds us. Talking about weather is like talking about the world” confessed Poplawska.

The second short film was Grumpy does repairs, an animation story about a grumpy cat made by Radostina Neykova & Sofiya Ilieva, competing at the National Competition. “The movie is for children” told the directors. “And usually a grumpy cat is not a typical main character”.

For them “the message is to accept different people and different feelings. We want people not to judge the depression”. And eventually “the dark color is not really dark, is just the night with so many stars”.

Asked about the technical difficulties about making the movie, the directors revealed the complication about using different types of fabric for the film. “We had to draw every frame and then sew it and photographed it, it was really slowly”.

Rubbish by Angella Lipskaya was the other animation film at the Q&A session, but with influences of a very different genre: documentary. The story is about three garbage bags which ran away with the city dump. “I wanted to do an animation film that was also funny” said Lipskaya.

Making fun of dramatic situations was also the goal for Eddy Schwarz and Yordan Petkov, directors of Auf Wiedersehen. Based in one of the most touristic destinations in Bulgaria, Sunny Beach, the short film tells the story about the disappearance of a husband during the familiar holidays.

“Sunny Beach used to be this big family resort for German people” said the directors, “In Bulgaria, when people come here we usually treat them as a tourist”. So with this film they wanted to “break the stereotypes”. Which seems a typical disappearance in a place full of erotic bars and nightlife turns to be a much more fun story.

For the directors “even in that place human stories can happen”. But overall they forced theirselves to make a tragic and dramatic end”.


Q&A 12th


Q&A 12th


Q&A 12th


Q&A 12th


(by Teresa Nannucci | Photos: Rita Moreira)

Today the XIII edition of IN THE PALACE International Short Film Festival offered the chance to meet Heinz Hermanns, founder and CEO of Interfilm Festival Berlin. One interesting topic: 'why should I made a short film and who wants to see it?' His lecture mostly dealt with a series of example regarding the different approaches people can (or have to) have to a single film according to circumstances.

The active and improvised way of presenting his experience and career let Hermanns entertain the public for almost three hours, watching short films and showing the strenght and weaknesses of each of them according to the different festival they were applying for. The importance of film festivals and distributors revolves overall their role to mediate the film necessity between directors and different audiences. “The selection of films for a festival is a long and hard process and it can be very different according to the situation. Selecting shorts for Underground Festival in Seoul and Berlin, where films are screened on small monitors in metro stations is very different from choosing them for Zebra Poetry Film Festival, although both the festivals are directed by the same person”, Hermanns said. In the first case the selection will look for very short and catchy films, while in the second one you will mainly choose films in which the poems and their visual development work together in a good way. Using different standards, a film can be good for one festival but not for some other, so that the quality of a film is not declared by the festivals it has screened at. For Heinz, even some important festivals have a big problem with the selections. "Festivals like Cannes, Berlinale and Locarno are full of feature films that nobody wants to see. Lots of public money is wasted”, he said adding that in feature films is “very difficult” for him “to find something interesting"

Also culture influences in a deep way the process of selecting films and watching them in general. Having a long experience in Asia with different festivals in different countries, Hermanns had to deal with different perceptions of the same movie. This is not revolving around censorship only, but also with education and cultural references. Being more practical, also logistics and transport practices are different in different places on Earth.

This also gives the directors a great freedom in terms of ideas and creative content and formal realization, since it does exist an infinite range of festivals where to apply. “The definition of ‘short film’ itself doesn’t tell anything about it except that it is going to be short”. In terms of duration, “it’s usefull to keep in mind that, going beyond the festival world, 20 minutes is already a long time, giving the distributors hard times to sell the film, especially since they are mostly sold to be screened before full lenght features”, Hermanns explained. Moreover, we could say “the shorter, the better”, since a shorter time gives the directors less possibilities to make mistakes; on the other hand, with less time, a mistake cannot be forgotten and the story has to be condensed in very few minutes. So, it’s always better to focus on the target (audience and festival) and understand the strenght of the film according to the context.

Short films usually work on one single idea, not with the feeling of making a masterpiece or a problem solving film. Dramatic topics are usually too complicated to be condensed in few minutes and the result is often lacking in rhythm and power. Timing is important, ideas are important and also cultural references are important.

In the construction of the sense and of the appeal, music has always a big role, but it is also important to play with it in a smart way. “Music has to work together with the other elements to build the sense of the film, not covering or distracting from it. Piano solos or rethorical choices can act against the glod result of the movie”.

Coming to the reception phase, it’s important to always keep in mind the different contexts, trying to aim the right festivals and the right distributions. “For example, poetry films and porn films use different ways to be screened, but some films might play with genres and references and so being suitable for both festivals – poetry and porn film festivals”.

The point is to combine all the different elements making them build a sense and focusing on reaching a good result and not on realising an avantgarde masterpiece. Especially in experimental films, willing to create an avantgarde homenage or choosing the black and white without a strong reason usually lead to a dead end for the movies. Indeed, it is also important to keep in touch with time, introducing retro sequences or techniques only with a good reason or for the message sake. Most of the revolutionary ideas we see on the screen have already been made some decades ago.




Finally, the key point is to have an idea that is not too personal so you can share it with others, without overestimating ourselves, going beyond the personal need of expressing ideas or just giving informations. It is essential to watch other films, without stealing from them, but comparing them and also learning from them. Another important thing when aiming to a distributor is to clear the rights, especially for music, because this could turn into a technical obstacle to getting distributed.

A team work is always the best choice when shooting a film, so having good editors, cameramen, etc… is as important as having a great story. Music, sounds, lights, plot… everything have to work to create tension, even using simple camera movements or simple changes. Semplicity is often more expressive than complex development.

Finally, when meeting industry people, it’s important to find the right balance within recalls, good presentations and contacts with distributors and festivals. It is hard to find a successfull way to get distributed and seen by real audience, no rules really exist, but these are suggestions from one of the most successfull realities in Europe… so all the upcoming filmmakers are warned!

Screenings 11th

(Photo: María Ballester)

Many applauses and lots of nice short films filled the 4th day of screenings at IN THE PALACE Sofia International Short Film Festival. A total of 19 films were screened between 3pm and 8:30pm in three blocks for an audience that fluctuated between 200 and 250 people.

The first block of films was part of the international competition. 'Giovanni and the Water Ballet', 'The Swing', 'The forgotten', 'The woods', 'Rubbish', 'Fish & Chips' and 'Matilde' were the films screened during this first hour and a half of the day. Despite the high quality of some of the films, any of them had big reactions from the audience.

The audience mood changed during the second block of screenings, which was part of the National Competition. The films '100% Mood', 'Enemies', 'Milkmaid', 'Grumpy does repairs', 'Parking' and '100 Antigonas' had many applauses from the audience. But it was 'Auf Wiedersehen' the one that had the biggest reactions. Candidate for the Bulgarian national competition award?

The last part of the screenings generated changing reactions from the spectators. While some of the screened films pleasantly surprised the audience, like the documentary 'A Films is a Film is a Film' or the fiction 'North East Hard West' others, like ‘Minore’, didn’t have the same reactions.


(By Estelle Merly | Photos: Eszter Havas)

Amazing projects, many possibilities. Pitching. At IN THE PALACE we have seen eight great projects seeking to become reality. How is the pitching working? Each project had to be presented in seven minutes and another seven minutes was dedicated to questions and answers by a group of panellists: Denis Mujović founded and directed ‘Easter Neighbors Film Festival’ in Netherlands and he is currently attached as production manager in ‘Let’s CEE Film Festival’ in Vienna. Faisal A. Qureshi is a renowned script-writer and editor. Heinz Hermanns is the CEO of Interfilm Berlin and Vessela Dantcheva is the co-founder of FinFilm animation studio and Compote Collective.

The first short film project (flesh) is about a man who falls in love with a mannequin from a window shop. The screenwriter showed a short video teaser to illustrate her project. She decided to realize this movie to reveal the real life of some people she met.

Second project: an experimental fiction about the inability to be satisfied in love. A movie without any dialogue. The screenwriter presented an extract from another movie she makes because the two films are very connected. The jury asked why she wants to make a short movie while she is working on a feature film.

'Everyone is special' was the third project. The plot is about a geography teacher who receives a mysterious story recounting his fictional death. The jury focused on the film’s music and one of the panellist, Heinz Hermanns, was not convinced by the plot that he found too detailed and too complicated.




The fourth project is going to happen in the Romanian forest. The adventures of two brothers during a hunting party. The jury thought that the script is minimalistic and the whole movie is based on the visual power, the quality of the sound and the camera.

'Chemistry', fifth project, has been presented with a dialogue between the two filmmakers responsible of the movie. A comedy about a woman who falls in love with her co-worker in a laboratory, but he does not have any clue about it. The Jury recommended the directors not to be too much focused on the fantasy world which illustrates the woman’s dream, because it could be confusing for the audience. The jury also evoked the role of the man who seemed to be there only to enlighten the woman’s desires, although the screenwriter wants the two characters to be equal.

'The ladder’s builder' is another project that has been presented using one picture as an illustration. The story of a man who builds the highest ladder of all time to get to the sky and observe life on earth. He is willing to ask existential questions but the jury was willing to know how the script is developed. One member of the panellist, Vessela Dantcheva, suggested to make an animation film that would fits with the story but the screenwriter prefers to shoot in real locations with real people. The jury also thought the project is too ambitious and too personal for a short movie.

Last projects. 'The unneeded' is the story of two boys who live with their mother, who is a poor, alcoholic woman. A family that is going to deal with a lot of catastrophes. The screenwriter already casted the actors and one of the two children who are going to act was present in the hall. Problem? The jury said this kind of story is not original and they wanted to be convinced by the uniqueness of the project. One jury member, Denis Mujović, was impressed by the casting but he thinks that 27 minutes for a short film is too long and because of this length it will not be easy to sell it in the industry. Actually, the screenwriter was thinking in cutting one part of the story.

'The book of Aeronaut' was one of the last projects on the stage. It was presented by its director and its producer. They illustrated their presentation with pictures from the location. The plot is about a normal guy who works in a company where no one cares about him and suddenly a little version of himself is watching at him. They were willing to realize this movie because even if they get older they do not feel more mature. They aim to achieve all ages in the audience, especially "the lost generation" as they call it. The jury seemed to be enthusiastic about this project. They jury asked if the director has experience in directing children and they advised him to be careful not to overact.

The last film presented is entitled 'Hold your peace'. The scene takes place in a wedding where one guy is attracted by another very confident and elegant guy. So, he reveals his homosexuality during the wedding. The screenwriter argues this kind of topic is taboo in Bulgaria. The jury gave her some advices and they wished her good luck.





Meet the Filmmaker 10th december

(Photos: Guna Ludborza | Enrico Tasselli)

Meet the filmmaker! What it is that? A very interesting Questions and Answers session with some directors and the audience just ended today, gathering some directors from the National and International Competition. Have we seen any possible winner short film?

Merja Hannikainen was the first director to take the floor. 'Retracing', her documentary, dealing with contemporary topics, underlines the importance of storytelling, especially when it talks with this kind of stories, that are universal but costantly changing their coordinates according to the times. Her subjective shots and photographic style gave the film an appeal very easy to recognize.

While humanity was the focus of Hannikainen’s movie, Antii Polojarvi centered his experimental film, ‘Underdog dream’, on the character of the dog. The focus on the dog serves the point of sinthetizing images and messages in such a short time. Domestic animals are usually seen as human surrogate and that is why the Finnish director decided to literally take onto an underdog perspective, in an attempt "to humanize the animal". It was also very interesting discovering that the film was first conceived without a real script.

Animation technique and creativity mix up in Asparuh Pretov’s ‘A petty morning crime’. This Bulgarian animation presented an experiment of letting poetry penetrate images on a content base, while trying to resolve other problems. As referred by the director, one of the first problems was to include "subtitles into the images", but he managed to deal with this using the words themselves as an artistic tool and putting then into the frame.

Zacharia Popov was representing Alberto Iordanov’s ‘Bubo’s limbo’, a documentary about a sailor who is actually the director’s uncle. This might be the main reason why the way of showing his life and his controversial relationship with the story. Popov’s words are full with love and affection when describing the realization process and the choice of objects and situations surrounding the only protagonist of the film, while respecting his nature as much as they could.

Family often is the first ispiration for films, as it happened to Iordanov and to Lyubo Younchev too. In his ‘Shooting star’ the Bulgarian director movedfrom his own family to create the characters of his short film. The main focus of the story is on the mother: a complicated person who has to deal with very realistic problems all by herself. If the roles in life get confused for the character, the strenght portraited by the famous actress Eleni Dekidis clearly belongs to many real women. Coproducted between Italy and Bulgaria, this films reached the audience provoking their reactions and questions.

Even Matei Branea received some unexpected questions about his animated short movie ‘Omulan!’, an interesting journey about the search of God. This Romanian film mixed different animation styles, gathering the results of different artists and designers, who finally composed some very powerfull images which got to shock the audience and impress their memories.

Finally, if there is an idea connecting all these directors and their cultures, is that it is always more difficult to get to the audience in their own country, or, as Petrov said, "the neighbour’s grass is always greener than ours". This is how we could sum up the reflection about difficulties in promoting and distributing films (especially short films) in different historical and geographical contexts.


Meet the Filmmaker 10th december


Meet the Filmmaker 10th december


Sandy Lieberson Lecture

(Aída Sánchez | Photos: Guna Ludborza | Enrico Tasselli)

What it is means to be a producer today? This is one of the questions answered by the North American producer Sandy Lieberson at IN THE PALACE Sofia International Short Film Festival. Starting at noon, the producer talked about his experience in the sector in front of an audience of about 100 people.

The questions, introduced by two moderators, led the producer to talk about the changes he has experienced in the industry during the last years. “The digital revolution was the biggest game changer in the industry”, said Lieberson.

“For my perspective I am a bit of a dinosaur and having to understand this digital change is important”, remarked Lieberson before screening the trailer of ‘Tangerine’, a movie shot with the smartphone iPhone 5s.


Sandy Lieberson Lecture


For Lieberson, with the awakening of new technologies, filmmaking has drastically changed. “You have to realise that you are not making a film for a cinema but for the audience. You have to accept the fact that the cinema experience is over, and some films will never be shown at a cinema”.

Despite the huge productions still being made by Hollywood companies, Lieberson expressed his concern about fundraising in independent films. “You have to know how your campaign will be different from the other hundreds that are already in Indiegogo or whatever. The ones that understand the process of the money will be more successful that the ones who do not understand it”.

Dealing with bad producers was also one of the hot topics at the Q&A session. "There are producers who destroy the film they are producing", said Lieberson. "Try to find a compromise, which sometimes mean selling out your artistic principles, but it may help to save what you wanted to mean with your film".

But his position as a producer is clear: "I am here to support the film. When you work as a producer you have to understand that you are working for the vision of the director".

When asked about his collaborations with directors as Ridley Scott, Lieberson explained that as a producer he always think who he want to work with and then he tries to find the way to work with that person. "But sometimes you get incredibly talented people working together and it doesn’t jell".

Showing what you are able to do is for Lieberson one of the main opportunities to get a job: "With today’s technologies it is easier than ever to do a film", said the producer, who believes that "It is important to understand cinema culture but, after college, you have to demonstrate your skills as a filmmaker". "Film school gives you only the 50% of what you need to know".

 Sandy Lieberson Lecture

Sandy Lieberson Lecture

Sandy Lieberson Lecture

Screenings 10th

(Photo: María Ballester)

Competition. Third day. An incredible selection of movies from all other the world. Any possible winner? The quality of most films is flawless and the applause become a habit.

The dark claustrophobic aesthetics of the British movie 'Hollow Road' thrilled the crowd while the Belgium animation 'Sinners' fascinated the audience.

Another animation, 'What I forgot to Say', awarded Best Animated Short Film at IN THE PALACE Student's Competition this summer, hit the audience with his sense of humor and paves the way for the great surprise of the day: Croatian fiction 'The Beast' was able to astonish everyone. 

Any other surprises? 'Teeth', an animated short film by Daniel Gray and Tom Brown is a faithful portrait of the human body that created some disgusting faces between the audience, but at the same time a big applause at the end of it, the biggest one of the five films in the last block of the day.


What about the Bulgarian national competition? 'Bandit and The Ram' was the first surprise. A movie that tell us the story of Doycho, an old man living in a remote village in the middle of the Balkans. His perspective of live, love and universe made some laughs between the audience.

After that, 'Solveig', a bittersweet movie about Anya, a violinist, did not surprise the audience, who timidly followed the loud clapping of some members from the crew of the film. 'Odeon' was the next film to be on the big screen, and neither could gain the favor of the audience. Moreover, the romantic comedy 'Janne of Love', that speaks of the adventures of a crazy girl in her way to find love made almost everyone laugh and generated a lot of comments between the spectators.

Although the Bulgarian movie that achieved the best answer from all the audience was 'Mom's calling'. The story of the disappearance of Philip and his brother Andrei.

Second day of screenings. A very high level of short films (national and international). Have we seen any possible winner?

The Romanian movie 'Omulan' was one of the first films to raise the audience. It created some discreet laughter and low conversations between the spectators.

'Body' was one of the most controversial films of the day (causing reactions in the audience during a rape scene) while 'Fisherwoman and Tuktuk' caused laughter among the spectators and reactions of compassion toward Fisherwoman when she has an accident.

And the rest of the movies? Short films like 'Quiet Mujo' and 'The way of tea' produced some laughter in the audience and the final scene of the German film 'Till then' caused reactions of sympathy because the old lady in the movie is thoughtful towards her sick neighbor.

In the last block of the day the emotions began with norwegian short fiction ‘Last base’, to continue with the deep and touching animation ‘Beach flags’.


What about the Bulgarian national competition? Finally the time has come to screen the first block of Bulgarian movies. The group of short films includes animations such as ‘A petty morning crime’, documentaries such as ‘Bubo’s limbo’, and fictions like ‘Shooting star’.

The expectations for the national competition were quite high, but the reactions from the public makes it clear that the aim is reached. The diversity of the points of view of the movies has given a good diorama, full of charming and particular images. The warmest applause from the spectators came for Alberto Iordanov’s ‘Bubo’s limbo’ and Jivko Kostantinov’s ‘Bulgaria for sale’.

The general quality of the short films has highlighted the many opportunities Bulgarians filmmakers have to reach their artistic goals and also the importance of confronting them with the productions coming from other countries.

Opening Gala 2

(By Aida Sánchez | Photos: Rita Moreira)


As always, but different. IN THE PALACE Sofia International Short Film Festival started its 13th edition, for the first time in the National Palace of Culture (NDK) in Sofia. It all started with a beautiful gala presented by four of the eighty EVS volunteers who helped to organise the festival. The gala started around seven o’clock in the afternoon.

Using the big screen in the hall to present themselves, the volunteers Maia Belzunegui, Yasas Navaratne, Annija Vetra and Ambrozja Bialik introduced IN THE PALACE Festival to an around 200 people audience.

With the Festival being hosted in Sofia for the first time, "this year we’ve had over 3,000 applications" said Bialik "a new record, but only just over 100 have been selected for your viewing pleasure this week".

"We are here to commemorate the art of filmmaking. This is the place to share your ideas and meet others who think alike" explained Vetra.

During the gala the presenters thanked the participation of the sponsors: The National Palace of Culture (NDK), Sofia Municipality, Stolichno, Institute Cervantes, Spanish Embassy, Camoes Institute, Bulgarian National Television, Special Events Group, amongst other partners, including all the volunteers, "without whom this would not be possible" recalled Bialik.

Belzunegui introduced the many activities the IN THE PALACE Festival offers to the audience. "From Wednesday on, there will be Q&A sessions, master classes and lectures. There is also pitching training and sessions", explained the presenter.

As well as an after party every night after the festival, starting today at 10pm with the Portuguese band O Trance do Mimo. And finishing next Sunday with the Spanish band Barcelona Gypsy Klezmer Orchestra.

The Opening Gala also hosted the screening of the ’48 Hours Sofia Film Challenge’ short films. "We asked professional and amateur film enthusiasts to make a video under 5 minutes related to Sofia city in one way or another" said Navaratne. 18 teams submitted their short films, all made during the past weekend and in only 48 hours using the three words and the genre provided by lottery.

The winners, who will receive a free pass for IN THE PALACE students’ edition next summer in Balchik, will be chose by an online poll. The ’48 Hours Sofia Film Challenge’ organisation team showed its enthusiasm for the high participation in the challenge and for the fact that 18 of the 23 teams who joined the competition finished their short films.


Opening Gala 1

Opening Gala 4

Opening Gala 3

Screenings 8th

Tuesday. December 8th. How viewers have reacted to some of the best short films of the moment? IN THE PALACE Sofia International Short Film Festival opened its gates to accommodate visitors throughout the world, that have a passion for film.

For the opening day, the first three blocks of International Competition were screened, consisting of 17 short films from around the world.

The audience was eager to discover new cinematic cultures and beautifully told stories on the big screen. 'Forever Over' by Eric Schmitt brought a great deal of laughter to the audience, with the goofball style of comedy it employed, whereas some scenes of the Belgium movie 'A Separation' also possessed heavy comedic elements.

Press Conference Opening

(Photos: Kasia Zielinska)

Speakers: Tsanko Vasilev (director of the Festival), Miroslav Borshosh (director of NDK), Lyobomir Drekov (mayor of District Lozenets), Francisco Nazareth (Institute Camoes), O Trance do Mimo (opening band)

The XIII edition of IN THE PALACE SOFIA INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL, BULGARIA has been presented by the director and partners. Being the very first year that the Festival is taking place in Sofia, everything looks like this is a fresh start for everyone. The International Competition includes short films coming from all over the world, from Portugal to India, while the National Competition focuses of Bulgarian upcoming cinema wave. Indipendent films, new filmmaker generation and arthouse creativity are the real protagonist of this IN THE PALACE edition.

The undeniable importance of spreading new form of arts has also been highlited by the director of the National Palace of Culture, who has shown his pleasure and proud in becoming partner of this year edition. Collaboration with local institutions and European projects work together to shape this Festival with an international and multicultural attitude.

In this context, the presence of the manager of the Institute Camoes in Sofia gives even more strenght to the International wave of this new IN THE PALACE edition. The collaboration with the Institute started last year and will continue for the next editions of the Festival, since it has already given satisfying results. While working on spreading Portuguese culture, the Institute promoted the commistion between music and cinema areas, first of all presenting 'O Trance Do Mimo', a Portuguese band who will inaugurate the XIII edition of IN THE PALACE tonight with their concert. ‘Fish and Chips’ is the title of the documentary short film dealing with the story of this particulare group, playing together since almost two years ago and joining each other with knowledge of rare instruments.

This is a fresh start for the Festival, an occasion to finally give Bulgarian new cinema wave a suitable diffusion, highlighting even more the important role of Festivals such as IN THE PALACE.


Press Conference Opening

 (O Trance do Mimo, opening band for the festival).


Press Conference Opening

13th IN THE PALACE Sofia International Short Film Festival, Bulgaria

100 %  Mood (dir. Dmitry Yagodin / Bulgaria/ 2015 / 4'05'')

100 Antigonas (dir. Nikolay Vasilev / Bulgaria / 2013/ 26'30'')

90 DEGREES NORTH (dir. Detsky Graffam / Germany / 2015 / 20’50’’)

A film is a film is a film (dir. Eva von Schweintiz / United States / 2014 / 0:16‘ 02‘‘)

A new family (dir. Simone Manetti / Italy / 2014 / 12‘)

A passion of gold and fire (dir. Sébastien Pins / Belgium / 2014/  6‘)

A petty morning crime  (dir. Aspa Petrov / Bulgaria / 2014 / 4‘)

A Separation (dir. Michaël Bier / Belgium / 2013 / 20‘)

A sign (dir. Don Duncan / Belgium / 2014 / 18‘)

As he lay falling (dir. Ian Waugh / United Kingdom / 2014 / 19‘19‘‘)

Atelier Life (dir. Ivan Gakov / Bulgaria / 2014 / 23‘)

Auf Wiedersehen (dir. Eddy Schwartz, Yordan Petkov / Bulgaria / 2015 / 16‘01‘‘)

Bandit and the ram (dir. Alberto Yordanov / Bulgaria / United Kingdom / 2015 / 24‘40‘‘)

Beach Flags (dir. Sarah Saidan / France / 2014 /13‘39‘‘)

Black tape (dir. Michelle and Uri Kranot / Denmark / Palestinian / 2014 / 3‘)

Body (dir. Lucas Cassales / Brazil / 2015 / 16‘10‘‘)

Bubo's Limbo (dir. Alberto Yordanov / Bulgaria / 2015 / 10‘)

Bulgaria for sale( dir. Jivko Konstantinov / Bulgaria / 2014 / 16‘40‘‘)

Chain (dir. Eicke Bettinga / France / Germany / Bulgaria / 2014 / 22‘)

Cipriana (dir. Maruani Landa / France / Mexico 2014 / 21‘30‘‘)

Cloud&Mud (dir. Acheng Dong / China / 2014 / 14‘47‘‘)

Crack (dir. Peter King / United Kingdom / 2015 / 11‘39‘‘)

Dad (dir. Ashley Way / United Kingdom / 2014 / 14‘45‘‘)

Daewit (dir. David Jansen / Germany / 2014 / 15‘)

Daily bread (dir. Idan Hubel / Israel / 2014 / 20‘02‘‘)

Deep Down( dir. Fiona Godivier / United States / 2014 / 11‘50‘‘)

DÉJÀ-MOO ( dir. Stefan Müller / Germany / 2013 / 09‘59‘‘)

DISSONANCE  (dir. Till Nowak / Germany / 2015 / 15‘)

Dr. Illegal (dir. Hadi Khanjanpour / Germany / 2015 / 26‘09‘‘)

Elisabeth (dir. Katharina Woll / Germany / 2013 / 19‘)

Enemies (dir. Hristo Simeonov / Bulgaria / 2014 / 21‘)

Farewell  (dir. Tiago Rosa-Rosso / Portugal / 2015 / 14‘)

Fish & Chips (dir. Inês Alves / Portugal / 2014 / 14‘53‘‘)

Fisherwoman & TukTuk (dir. Suresh Eriyat /  India / 2015 / 15‘)

Forever Over (dir. Erik Schmitt / German / 2014 / 13‘56‘‘)

Four domestic episodes under a beautiful stormy day (dir. Mariano Leguizamon / Argentina / 2013 / 15‘17‘‘)

From bed thou arouse (dir. Bartek Konopka / Poland / 2014 / 23‘)

Giovanni and the Water Ballet (dir. Astrid Bussink / Netherlands / 2014 / 17‘09‘‘)

Growth (dir. Léo Pacquelet / France / 2015 / 14‘40‘‘)

Grumpy does repairs (dir. Radost Neikova / Bulgaria / 2015 / 8‘26‘‘)

Happy Thoughts (dir. Layke Anderson / United Kingdom / 2014 / 14‘)

Hollow road (dir. Drew Pautz / United Kingdom / 2014 / 17‘12‘‘)

If it turns bad, run (dir. David Hourrègue / France / 2014 / 16‘)

Invisible (dir. Zofia Pregowska / Poland /2014 / 22‘)

Isa (dir. Patrícia Vidal Delgado / Portugal / 2014 / 14‘25‘‘)

Janne of love (dir. Vilma Kartalska & Radko Savov / Bulgaria / 2014 / 25‘22‘‘)

Last Base (dir. Aslack Danbolt / Norway / United Kingdom / 2014 / 15‘)

life is fair (dir. Arsen Oremovic / Croatia /2014 / 15‘)

Lingerie Show (dir. Laura Harrison / United States / 2014 / 08‘15‘‘)

Matilde (dir. Vito Palmieri / Italy / 2013 / 10‘)

Milkmaid (dir. Ivan Bogdanov / Bulgaria / 2015 / 2‘35‘‘)

Minore (dir. Yiorgos Nalpantidis / Greece / 2014 / 5‘15‘‘)

Mom's calling (dir. Deyan Bararev / Bulgaria / 2014 / 24‘30‘‘)

Natural novel in 8 chapters (dir. Milen Vitanov / Bulgaria / 2015 / 04‘01‘‘)

North East Hard West  dir. Bart van den Aardweg / Netherlands / 2014 / 24‘02‘‘)

O christmass tree (dir. Erik Sjølander /  Norway / 2014 / 10‘08‘‘)

Object (dir. Paulina Skibinska / Poland / 2015 / 15‘)

Odeon  (dir. Boris Despodov / Bulgaria / 2015 / 2‘48‘‘)

Omulan ! (dir. Matei Branea / Romania / 2015 /14‘50‘‘)

Outlier (dir. Martin Wallner / Germany / 2014 / 15‘)

Parking (dir. Ivaylo Minov / Bulgaria / 2014 / 18‘56‘‘)

Patarei Prison ( dir. Ricard Carbonell / Estonia / 2015 / 3‘)

Patterns (dir. Miklos Keleti / Belgium / 2013 / 19‘55‘‘)

Postindustrial (dir. Boris Pramatarov / Bulgaria /2015 / 03‘20‘‘)

Push Me (dir. Tove Pils / Sweden / 2014 / 25‘)

Quiet Mujo (dir. Ursula Meier / Switzerland / 2014 / 10‘50‘‘)

Research (dir. Koen Van Sande / Belgium / 2014 / 9‘)

Retracing ( dir. Mariah Hanikanen / Bosnia and Herzegovina / Germany / 2015 / 25‘14‘‘)

Rubbish (dir. Angela Lipskaya / Russia / 2014 / 5‘)

Sea Front (dir. Claire Lamond / United Kingdom / 2014 / 08‘)

Shooting star (dir. Lyubo Yonchev / Bulgaria / Italy / 2015 / 28‘)

Sinners (dir. Gerlando Infuso / Belgium / 2014 / 17‘)

So quiet underwater  (dir. Julian Dieterich / Germany / 2015 / 17‘12‘‘)

Solo Rex (dir. François Bierry / Belgium / 2014 / 22‘42‘‘)

Solveig (dir. Yana Titova /Bulgaria / 2015 / 14‘)

Such a landscape (dir. Yagoda Szelc / Poland / 2013 / 23‘)

Summer 2014 (dir. Wojciech Sobczyk /Poland /2014 / 12‘)

Summer storms (dir. Nadège de Benoit-Luthy / Switzerland / 2014 / 20‘20‘‘)

Summer's end (dir. Stefanie Klemm / Switzerland / 2014 / 27‘)

SWEETHEART  (dir. Miguel Angelo Pate Germany / United States / 2014 / 26‘57‘‘)

Teeth (dir. Daniel Gray & Tom Brown / Hungary / United Kingdom / United States /2014 / 6‘10‘‘)

Ten seconds in heaven (dir. Tobias Schönenberg / Germany / 2014 / 11‘30‘‘)

The Beast (dir. Daina Oniunas-Pusic / Croatia / 2015 / 20‘07)

The forgotten (dir. Mauricio Caro Valderrama / Colombia / 2015 / 10‘30‘‘)

The noir project (dir. Gregory Vardarinos / Greece / 2014 / 26‘41‘‘)

The Place (dir.Julia Poplawska / Poland / 2015 / 14‘)

The revolution hunter (dir. Margarida Rego / Portugal / 2013 / 10‘56‘‘)

The Shadow Forest (dir. Andrzej Cichocki / Poland / 2014 / 14‘03‘‘)

The soldier's journey (dir. Annie Deniel / Canada / 2014 / 7‘45‘‘)

The Somme in Seven Poems (dir. John Durrant / United Kingdom / 2014 / 12‘)

The sound of the rails ( dir. Lucien Burkel de Tell / Spain / 2014 / 7‘)

The Swing (dir. Damien Dunne / Ireland / 2014 / 12‘)

The way of tea (dir.Marc Fouchard / France / 2014 / 20‘39‘‘)

The woods (dir. Henri Pardo / Canada / 2013 / 15‘)

Till Then  (dir. Benjamin Wolff / Germany / 2014 / 20‘27‘‘)

Too little to understand (dir. Cathie Turcotte / Canada / 2014 / 15‘)

Towards a pink spring (dir.Mario de la Torre / Spain / 2014 / 17‘)

Transit (dir. Macarena Astorga / Spain /2013 / 13‘)

Turning (dir. Eoin Heaney / Ireland / 2014 / 6‘)

Underdog dream (dir. Antti Polojärvi / Finland / 2014 / 3‘55‘‘)

Unity, creativity, beauty (dir. Jivko Konstantinov / Bulgaria / 2014 / 18‘)

Waiting for the (t)rain (dir. Simon Panay / Burkina Faso / France / 2015 / 25‘)

Water Ways (dir. Sylvia Schwenk / Australia / Germany / 2015 / 2015 / 6‘16‘‘)

What I forgot to say (dir. Patric Buhr / Germany / 2014 / 2014 / 8‘45‘‘)

Since “IN THE PALACE” is more than a short film festival… with this promotional video we want to invite you to join us in this adventure for people of all ages. Are you in?

The comercial has been recorded by people from Portugal, Latvia, Italy and Spain. Whats’s the idea behind the video? Going to the streets, asking people if they know what "IN THE PALACE" is. This is the result.




IN THE PALACE is an international festival dedicated to short films, new media and digital arts under 27 minutes in length. The main purpose of the Festival is to present contemporary film art from Bulgaria, Europe and the whole world. Established in 2003, the festival had grown from a competitive forum for student films into the largest and most prestigious short film festival in Bulgaria and the region.

Official Selection Professional Edition IN THE PALACE ISFF 2015

Dear filmmakers from around the world,

Due to a massive flooding of film submissions in the last minute, the official selection for the

professional edition of IN THE PALACE International Short Film Festival will be announced within a

few days time.

The Festival Team

Now Sofia is opened for you!

We wish success to all the filmmakers who had submitted their films to the Professional edition of IN THE PALACE International Short Film Festival which will take place in Sofia, Bulgaria from 8.12.2015 until 13.12.2015 in the National Palace of Culture. 

The official selection will be announced after 1st of October.

We hope to see you there!

Submissions close:

15th September 2015


Dear film-makers,

IN THE PALACE International Short Film Festival would like to remind you that the deadline for submissions is approaching.

The 13th edition of IN THE PALACE will take place in the National Palace of Culture, in Sofia, Bulgaria in two parallel events:


Competative programme in 4 genres – fiction, documentary, animation & experimental;

Film industry market;

Pitching session;

Educational programme – workshops, lectures, master classes;

ON FOCUS screenings;


Live concerts & performances;

Different headliner every night;

56 musical residences;

After parties.

We hate to rush you, but you wouldn’t want to miss this.

You never know who you’ll meet or what will happen In the Palace.


Screening time

This year...

One Palace...

One festival...

Five cities...

Thirteen winners...

What is about to happen...nobody knows.

IN THE PALACE International Short Film Festival for 13th fateful year is waiting to choose your film from more than 4000 others which finished their journey on time.

Don't miss to give your film a chance for a better life.

They may meet people from different parts of the World and will stand side by side with their lookalikes with the purpose to face their fate, audience and Me.

All films and their family are welcome to attend all festival activities such as:

Filmer Forge: Film Industry market, Educational programmes, Workshops, Lectures, Master classes, Case studies, Pitching training and session.

Special program for kids: Educational film ateliers, Workshops "How to shoot my first film" leaded by professional animators...and Me.

And this is not all.

After a day of film watching, discussing, interview giving and new friends making you will be fatally attracted to the dark side of the festival.. twice per night.

Dear Filmmakers, you still have time to submit your shorts for the professional edition of the festival.

The deadline is 15 of September. Hurry up, because no films will be accepted after this date.

We are waiting to receive part of you!

The Festival Team and Me

Opening Gala 2

Photos: Rita Moreira




Opening Gala 1

Opening Gala 4

Opening Gala 3

Last Call for Entries: IN THE PALACE International Short Film Festival 2015

3thCallForEntries:IN THE PALACE International Short Film Festival 2015

2ndCallForEntries: IN THE PALACE International Short Film Festival 2015

Call for Entries: IN THE PALACE International Short Film Festival 2015

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